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#1 2021-06-17 13:57:51

flyinsparks
Member
Registered: 2021-06-17
Posts: 13

Directory/File changes

Good Afternoon

My question is this the file manager comes with preloaded folders Documents, Music, video etc.
How can I get these folders to use a different location? ie an external drive?

Please show mercy on a mere mortal! my last real foray into the world of linux was SUSE6.1 that didnt end well either!

I have searched but found varying answers none of which give the complete,ahem, hand holding walkthrough. I did try symlink but was not successful I think I misunderstood the syntax of the command, editing .config/user-dirs.dirs didn't seem to do anything either again I probably misunderstood the whys and wherefores.
I'm determined to get Linux up and working for no other reason than freedom of choice.

I humbly thank anyone who responds even if it's with a pointer to a web page with a good example.

Regards

Andy

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#2 2021-06-17 14:15:15

damo
....moderator....
Registered: 2015-08-20
Posts: 6,657

Re: Directory/File changes

If you want "Documents" to point to a location on another drive, then user-dirs.dirs should do it (did you log out/in afterwards?).

Or delete or rename the current $HOME/Documents and create a symlink:

mv Documents Documents-bkp
ln -s <path to drive>/Documents Documents

You can also create a shortcut in Thunar by R-clicking a directory and choosing Send To > Side Pane(Create shortcut)

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#3 2021-06-17 16:31:32

flyinsparks
Member
Registered: 2021-06-17
Posts: 13

Re: Directory/File changes

Hello damo

Thank you for the reply and the welcome!

damo wrote:

Or delete or rename the current $HOME/Documents and create a symlink:

mv Documents Documents-bkp
ln -s <path to drive>/Documents Documents

This unfortunately failed with the following error :ln: target 'Documents' is not a directory

damo wrote:

You can also create a shortcut in Thunar by R-clicking a directory and choosing Send To > Side Pane(Create shortcut)

This did work but for me anyway its not really the elegant solution I'm looking for!
Fussy I know..

When I did edit user-dirs.dirs I did log out then in and nothing changed so I restarted the machine and the editing had disappeared! and returned to the normal?! code.

Again thank you for taking the time to reply.

Regards

Andy

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#4 2021-06-17 17:27:34

damo
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Registered: 2015-08-20
Posts: 6,657

Re: Directory/File changes

damo wrote:

ln -s <path to drive>/Documents Documents

This unfortunately failed with the following error :ln: target 'Documents' is not a directory
...

Please show the actual command that you used (paste terminal output using [ code ] tags). That is a generic example command I used btw.


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#5 2021-06-17 17:58:17

flyinsparks
Member
Registered: 2021-06-17
Posts: 13

Re: Directory/File changes

Hello damo

ln -s /media/my name/Seagate Backup Plus Drive/Documents Documents

This is what I used but several links were made ie "Drive" "Backup" etc. I think this may have been due to the spaces in between the words for the drive identification. I replaced these with underscores and also added an additional "Documents" as that is the folder on the drive I'm trying to link to eg

ln -s /media/my name/Seagate_Backup_Plus_Drive/Documents/ Documents Documents

I get a symlink now but it says broken link and the icon turns red when the mouse pointer is on it.

I did not get the initial failure of 'Docuuments is not a directory' though so that might have been due to finger trouble!

Regards

Andy

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#6 2021-06-17 18:44:07

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 1,082

Re: Directory/File changes

If you want to create or else manage paths with spaces, you must enclose the path with quotation marks. Underscore instead of spaces works well to.

If you are new to creating soft links, it could ease to use ncurser file-manager Midnight Commander (install with "apt install mc" and start with "mc"). It is classic twin panel. You just higlight file or directory in one pane. Chose "Symlink" from the file menu. The link vil be crated in the other pane directory.
If you in mc higlight a link, mc will show the target. A broken link is marked with a !.

I dont't understand the target with double documents... Thought error maybe...

Last edited by rbh (2021-06-17 18:44:37)


// Regards rbh

Please read before requesting help: Guide to getting help,
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#7 2021-06-17 19:03:56

flyinsparks
Member
Registered: 2021-06-17
Posts: 13

Re: Directory/File changes

Good Evening rbh

rbh wrote:

I dont't understand the target with double documents... Thought error maybe...

You are probably correct!

I may well try Midnight Commander I may well revisit editing the .config/user-dirs.dirs file again. The problem for me is not knowing how to, how can I put it, 'phrase' the command to execute what I would like to happen. Its a learning curve thats for sure!

Regards

Andy

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#8 2021-06-17 19:27:55

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,352
Website

Re: Directory/File changes

For example I'd like to change my ~/videos to ~/videosssss, I would
a. mkdir ~/videosssss
b. edit the file ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs accordingly, for example my new version is

XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/downloads"
XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/documents"
XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/music"
XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/images"
XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/videosssss"

c.  run ' xdg-user-dirs-update'
d. close and open thunar for it to get to new times.
e. Profit
rag9iWJ.png

Alternatively one can just

xdg-user-dirs-update --set VIDEOS ~/videos

edit: If spaces in path do quote

xdg-user-dirs-update --set VIDEOS "/home/b/tmp/v i d e o s/"

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2021-06-17 19:48:52)

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#9 2021-06-18 01:16:45

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 8,156
Website

Re: Directory/File changes

flyinsparks wrote:
ln -s /media/my name/Seagate Backup Plus Drive/Documents Documents

Hi Andy, welcome to BunsenLabs!

It's already been said, but it's worth repeating because it's basic and important: if a filepath (or any string) that you type into a terminal command contains spaces or any unusual characters, then you have to enclose it in quotes. It never hurts to do it even if they aren't necessary. For a simple case like this, single or double quotes will both work:

ln -s '/media/my name/Seagate Backup Plus Drive/Documents' Documents
ln -s "/media/my name/Seagate Backup Plus Drive/Documents" Documents

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#10 2021-06-18 09:17:00

flyinsparks
Member
Registered: 2021-06-17
Posts: 13

Re: Directory/File changes

Good Morning brontosaurusrex and johnraff

brontosaurusrex wrote:

For example I'd like to change my ~/videos to ~/videosssss, I would
a. mkdir ~/videosssss
b. edit the file ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs accordingly, for example my new version is

XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/downloads"
XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/documents"
XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/music"
XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/images"
XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/videosssss"

c.  run ' xdg-user-dirs-update'
d. close and open thunar for it to get to new times.
e. Profit

Alternatively one can just

xdg-user-dirs-update --set VIDEOS ~/videos

edit: If spaces in path do quote

xdg-user-dirs-update --set VIDEOS "/home/b/tmp/v i d e o s/"

Thank you brontosaurusrex these are clear examples for me to experiment with!

johnraff thank you for the welcome and thank you for adding to my knowledge of filepath/string behaviour in the terminal I did think I was missing something when my first symlink attempt gave me several links instead of one!

Regards

Andy

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#11 2021-06-18 11:07:05

flyinsparks
Member
Registered: 2021-06-17
Posts: 13

Re: Directory/File changes

Hello again!

I really must be missing something!,probably intelligence, but I am still unable to change documents path.

brontosaurusrex wrote:

Alternatively one can just

xdg-user-dirs-update --set VIDEOS ~/videos

I did the above but substituted DOCUMENTS for VIDEO and the path for "/media/my name/Seagate Backup Plus Drive/Documents"

It changed in ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs but when Thunar is opened and Documents is clicked it just opens the path /home/osiris/Documents/ in Thunars viewing window!

If it helps the drive I'm trying to get to is a USB3.0 plug-in drive its usually always plugged in.

Regards

Andy

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#12 2021-06-18 12:55:53

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,352
Website

Re: Directory/File changes

Any errors? All I can think of right now is to check the file-system on that drive, smells a bit like NTFS.

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2021-06-18 13:01:41)

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#13 2021-06-18 13:28:04

flyinsparks
Member
Registered: 2021-06-17
Posts: 13

Re: Directory/File changes

Hello brontosaurusrex

Yes the drive is formatted to NTFS I use it for "My Documents" on my Win10 installation, separate ssd entirely.

Curiously enough if I click the documents folder in the side pane of Thunar under Places it works. If I click the documents folder shown in the 'Home' view window it uses the path /home/osiris/Documents/.

Any ideas?

Regards

Andy

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#14 2021-06-19 05:16:48

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,352
Website

Re: Directory/File changes

I can't wrap a reason why it wouldn't work or at least appear as if everything is ok (The word on internet is 'posix permissions', not sure if that could be the reason). I'am assuming you can read/write that drive just fine from linux otherwise? Another reason could be mounting related (Thunar automount is doing it it's own way irc). How are you mounting the drive?

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2021-06-19 05:26:15)

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#15 2021-06-19 11:56:53

flyinsparks
Member
Registered: 2021-06-17
Posts: 13

Re: Directory/File changes

Good Afternoon brontosaurusrex

Yes I can read/write to the disk fine, to mount I simply click on the drive in Devices in Thunar.

Regards

Andy

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#16 2021-06-19 12:07:53

flyinsparks
Member
Registered: 2021-06-17
Posts: 13

Re: Directory/File changes

Looking at your last post again,

brontosaurusrex wrote:

Another reason could be mounting related (Thunar automount is doing it it's own way irc). How are you mounting the drive?

Lead me onto a web search for Thunar automount this came up fairly high in the list:
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=209488 post #7

Which lead to this:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Thunar … nal_drives under Tips and Tricks

The drive I'm accessing is 2TB could this potentially be a source of the problem? As for using udiskie2 I'm not quite sure how I would do that.

Regards

Andy

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#17 2021-06-19 13:32:36

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,352
Website

Re: Directory/File changes

I'am gonna leave this to someone more versatile to disk-stuff (to avoid giving any misdirection's).

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#18 2021-06-19 14:25:26

flyinsparks
Member
Registered: 2021-06-17
Posts: 13

Re: Directory/File changes

Hello brontosaurusrex

Thank you for all your help its greatly appreciated.

As an aside I tried to map two other drives I use for Music and Pictures to thier respective folders but no joy not even the sidepane folder works.
I then installed two other File Managers ( PCManFM and Nautilus ) they behaved exactly the same but then it dawned on me that they too would look at the XDG script(?) in ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs.

So I went back into it to have a look and this is what I found:

XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/"
XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/Videos"
XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/Templates"
XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR="$HOME/Public"
XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop"
XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/"
XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/"
XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/Downloads"

The three folders I've altered have been re-hashed after a shutdown/restart. Is this normal?

Regards

Andy

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#19 2021-06-19 15:05:11

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 1,082

Re: Directory/File changes

flyinsparks wrote:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Thunar … nal_drives

The drive I'm accessing is 2TB could this potentially be a source of the problem? As for using udiskie2 I'm not quite sure how I would do that.

I hate automount. I allways disable it in new install.

As described above, you can setup mount in /etc/fstab, with switches "noauto,user". It can then be mounted by regular user when wanted.

example for you:

#Entry for /SeagateBUP :
UUID=[partition_UUID]	/mnt/SeagateBUP	ntfs-3g		noauto,user,rw,relatime,user_id=0,group_id=0,allow_other	0	0

If you have problem mounting external ntfs partion, why not instead use ext2? There is ext2 drivers for windows: https://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2fsd/

Last edited by rbh (2021-06-19 15:05:52)


// Regards rbh

Please read before requesting help: Guide to getting help,
Introduction to the Bunsenlabs Lithium Desktop and other help topics under "Help Resources" on the BunsenLabs menu

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#20 2021-06-20 14:02:07

flyinsparks
Member
Registered: 2021-06-17
Posts: 13

Re: Directory/File changes

Hello rbh

rbh wrote:

example for you:

#Entry for /SeagateBUP :
UUID=[partition_UUID]    /mnt/SeagateBUP    ntfs-3g        noauto,user,rw,relatime,user_id=0,group_id=0,allow_other    0    0

This looks a little too indepth for my comfort level at this time. I'm still curious as to why my ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs has been modified after a shutdown restart?
My other curiosity is where is the 'Home' folder layout is stored? the one where you click on the 'Home' icon on the left side panel of Thunar and it shows several folders in the viewing window.

Regards

Andy

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#21 2021-06-20 15:00:18

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,352
Website

Re: Directory/File changes

why my ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs has been modified after a shutdown restart?

It resets to last valid working version is my guess.

Offtopic/Generally speaking if one is confused about 'exit status', one can always add an '&& echo "mkay"' to illustrate exit status.

date && echo "mkay"
Sun 20 Jun 2021 04:58:41 PM CEST
mkay

false && echo "mkay"

true && echo "mkay"
mkay

(( 2 > 3 )) && echo "mkay"

(( 2 > 1 )) && echo "mkay"
mkay

Also certain prompts will change color/shape based on exit status.

Unfortunately xdg-user-dirs-update returns true even when it feels false

xdg-user-dirs-update --set VIDEOS ~/invalid && echo "mkay"
mkay # really?

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2021-06-20 15:10:13)

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#22 2021-06-20 15:05:06

eight.bit.al
Member
From: Prison
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 1,016

Re: Directory/File changes

flyinsparks wrote:

My other curiosity is where is the 'Home' folder layout is stored? the one where you click on the 'Home' icon on the left side panel of Thunar and it shows several folders in the viewing window.

Regards

Andy

tree.th.png

smile
8bit


If art is how we decorate space; music is how we decorate time.

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#23 2021-06-20 16:34:44

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 1,082

Re: Directory/File changes

flyinsparks wrote:

[fstab]
This looks a little too indepth for my comfort level at this time.

Fstab is not so hard to understand, but is one of the essentials to understand.

Take a look att the explaining line in /etc/fstab and the line I suggested you to use:

# <file system>       <mount point>   <type>    <options>       <dump>  <pass>
#Entry for /SeagateBUP :
UUID=[partition_UUID] /mnt/SeagateBUP ntfs-3g        noauto,user,rw,relatime,user_id=0,group_id=0,allow_other    0    0

<file system> is the partition to mount. In the old days, you used /dev/hdb1, then it became possible to mount partionlabels but using uuid's i safest.
command "lsblk -f", will list partitions with uuid.

<mount point>, is where to mount the partition.

<type> is what kind of file-system.

<options> is how to mount. "noauto", means not automatic. "user", to give normal user the right to mount. "rw", to give read and write permisssions. The other flags, can we skip for now, Read about them in "Debian handbook" (on the menu, Help... => Debian => Debian handbook. The link b elow, could also be good to read.
https://askubuntu.com/questions/113733/ … -etc-fstab

I'm still curious as to why my ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs has been modified after a shutdown restart?

Maybee som user error? I think it would be easier for you to static mounts...

My other curiosity is where is the 'Home' folder layout is stored?

Thunar bookmarks is besides defined in ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs, also stored in ~/.config/gtk-3.0/bookmarks

Last edited by rbh (2021-06-21 07:19:49)


// Regards rbh

Please read before requesting help: Guide to getting help,
Introduction to the Bunsenlabs Lithium Desktop and other help topics under "Help Resources" on the BunsenLabs menu

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#24 2021-06-23 14:03:35

flyinsparks
Member
Registered: 2021-06-17
Posts: 13

Re: Directory/File changes

Hello All

Thanks for the replies eight.bit.al, rbh and brontosaurusrex sorry for the late reply work has a habit of getting in the way!

8bit I think my question was worded incorrectly what I want to know is where Thunar gets its info of what to display in the main pane when you click the icon 'Home' in the left pane.

XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/"
XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/"
XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/Templates"
#XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR="$HOME/Public"
#XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop"
XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/"[code]
xdg-user-dirs-update --set FILENAME ~/filename
[/code]
XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/"
XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/"

This is still the result of ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs whenever you shutdown then restart no matter what you do with:

xdg-user-dirs-update --set FILENAME ~/filename

However if I edit ~/.config/gtk-3.0/bookmarks this does not get overwritten at boot time and the Thunar bookmarks, left pane, work! every time provided the drives are mounted.

rbh wrote:

flyinsparks wrote:

    [fstab]
    This looks a little too indepth for my comfort level at this time.

Fstab is not so hard to understand, but is one of the essentials to understand.

Take a look att the explaining line in /etc/fstab and the line I suggested you to use:

# <file system>       <mount point>   <type>    <options>       <dump>  <pass>
#Entry for /SeagateBUP :
UUID=[partition_UUID] /mnt/SeagateBUP ntfs-3g        noauto,user,rw,relatime,user_id=0,group_id=0,allow_other    0    0

<file system> is the partition to mount. In the old days, you used /dev/hdb1, then it became possible to mount partionlabels but using uuid's i safest.
command "lsblk -f", will list partitions with uuid.

<mount point>, is where to mount the partition.

<type> is what kind of file-system.

<options> is how to mount. "noauto", means not automatic. "user", to give normal user the right to mount. "rw", to give read and write permisssions. The other flags, can we skip for now, Read about them in "Debian handbook" (on the menu, Help... => Debian => Debian handbook. The link b elow, could also be good to read.
https://askubuntu.com/questions/113733/ … -etc-fstab

The above I'm guessing is where I will be able to read up and configure fstab so that at boot ALL drives are mounted.

Regards

Andy

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#25 2021-06-23 14:35:09

eight.bit.al
Member
From: Prison
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 1,016

Re: Directory/File changes

flyinsparks wrote:

<snip>
8bit I think my question was worded incorrectly what I want to know is where Thunar gets its info of what to display in the main pane when you click the icon 'Home' in the left pane.

Just after I read rbh's reply to your question,
I realized I took the question too literally, a thing I do well. smile

8bit


If art is how we decorate space; music is how we decorate time.

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